Gable was known as "the King" in the movie business, but this picture could have deposed him forever. Not that it's bad, it just isn't good enough to merit the kind of attention given to it by the actors or the creators. Gable is a cowboy-on-the-run who arrives at the semi-abandoned town of
Wagon Mound. Van Fleet, a pistol-packing mama, lives there with her four daughters-in-law, Willes, Nichols, Shane, and Parker, who isn't one of the daughters-in-law at all. Rather, she is masquerading as one because she knows that Van Fleet's sons have secreted $100,000 in gold somewhere in the
town--the loot taken from a stagecoach holdup. Three of the boys are dead, but no one knows which three, so each wife hopes that the surviving man is her husband. Gable puts a move on each of the young women and thinks that he can wind up with the money if he plays his cards right. Parker and
Gable find the money and are racing away with it when they are stopped by the posse that has captured the last surviving brother. The sheriff, Roberts, takes the gold but gives Gable and Parker a $5,000 reward for finding it. Sadder but wiser, and somewhat richer, Gable and Parker ride off
together in the sunset, two connivers in search of a way to make a fast buck.
It's a cynical film and pokes fun at the Old West and itself, as was often the case in Walsh's later films. There's not enough humor in it to make the film an out-and-out comedy, and there's not enough reality to take it seriously. This one falls somewhere in the middle, and that's no place to be
when you have such high-priced and high-powered talent strutting and fretting across the screen. Gable is so charming as the confidence man that he almost succeeds in pulling the picture together, but in the end it's an empty exercise. Van Fleet is the other standout as the mother of the dead
crooks. One would have to look hard in her resume to find a bad performance. The executive producer was former footballer (and first husband of Jane Russell) Bob Waterfield.
Cast & Details See all »
- Rating: NR
- Review: Gable was known as "the King" in the movie business, but this picture could have deposed him forever. Not that it's bad, it just isn't good enough to merit the kind of attention given to it by the actors or the creators. Gable is a cowboy-on-the-run who ar… (more)